GFM Network News



South Africa’s barley growers face bleak outlook on alcohol ban

Ban reinstated against COVID-19 surge

Johannesburg | Reuters — South African barley farmers are bracing for a tough market ahead as demand for the grain used to make beer falls and stockpiles grow after a ban on the sale of alcohol was reinstated as the country battles a surge in COVID-19 cases. The government in December enforced its third ban […] Read more



Ontario backs ‘horse experience’ businesses for horse upkeep

Trail ride operations, riding schools, others eligible

Ontario horses whose jobs with riding schools, camps and trail rides were lost or cut back during the COVID-19 pandemic may be eligible for funding toward their upkeep. The province on Thursday announced a $3 million equine hardship program would launch starting Monday (Jan. 18) help “horse experience” businesses cover animal maintenance costs. The program […] Read more



Ban on food aid restrictions blocked at WTO

WTO says outcome 'disappointing' in difficult year

Geneva | Reuters — World Trade Organization members were at odds on Friday over a proposal that would ban countries from restricting food aid deliveries, potentially complicating the response to a feared COVID-fuelled humanitarian catastrophe next year. The proposal was one of two related to the pandemic that failed to make headway at a three-day […] Read more


Guelph beef plant idled against COVID-19 outbreak

Cattle set-aside plan en route, BFO says

Agrifood giant Cargill is temporarily halting production at its beef processing plant at Guelph, Ont. in the wake of a significant COVID-19 outbreak among employees. The company announced it would “begin the process to temporarily idle” the Dunlop Drive plant effective Thursday (Dec. 17). “This was a difficult decision for our team who are operating […] Read more

Tyson fires seven managers after probe into COVID-19 wagering

Employees had been suspended following lawsuit

Reuters — Tyson Foods said Wednesday it had fired seven managers at an Iowa pork plant after investigating allegations that they took bets on how many employees would catch COVID-19. The independent investigation, led by former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, came in response to a lawsuit filed by the son of a worker at […] Read more


COVID outbreak shuts Nova Scotia poultry plant

Province closes Eden Valley for at least two weeks

Provincial officials have temporarily shut a chicken and turkey slaughter and processing plant in Nova Scotia’s Annapolis Valley, citing recent cases of COVID-19 among employees. Eden Valley Poultry’s processing plant at Berwick will be closed “for at least two weeks,” the provincial health department said in a release Friday. “We know this will be a […] Read more

U.S. pork packer Smithfield offers ultra-cold vaccine storage

COVID-19 vaccines need storage at -20 C, -70 C

Chicago | Reuters — Smithfield Foods, the world’s biggest pork processor, said on Thursday it had offered to help U.S. health officials distribute COVID-19 vaccines and store them in ultra-cold freezers that are in high demand to support a public vaccination campaign. U.S. states, cities and hospitals are scrambling to buy freezers that can safely […] Read more